Divorcing New York parents might think they are shielding their children from the conflict and stress of their situation, but most children can still sense their parents' anxiety. There are ways to protect your children from the stressors of divorce, and that way is by developing a solid co-parenting plan.
What is a co-parenting plan?
A co-parenting plan, or parenting plan, is a schedule of the time you and your children's other parent will spend with the kids. You can customize the schedule to fit your family's specific needs, including working around work schedules, school times, extracurricular activities, and other commitments.
This plan will act as your road map of parenting time with your children. A child custody attorney who is well-versed in family law can be of great help in devising this plan. If you and your former spouse cannot agree, a judge will be responsible for determining your parenting plan.
Why you need a parenting plan in place
A parenting plan reduces the “what ifs,” not only for parents but also for your children. It gives everyone a sense of stability in a time when it may feel like the world is crumbling. Spending time with both parents is almost always in the best interests of the children.
As your children grow and family circumstances change, your parenting plan can be modified. While a judge will determine an equal parenting plan, he or she does not know your family's unique circumstances. This is why it is always better if both parents can reach an agreement over a plan that works for everyone.
Top considerations when devising a parenting plan
Divorce can be stressful for everyone in the family, and it is important to remember that the parenting plan is for your children. It allows them to maintain loving relationships and to spend time with both parents. It is not about you.
It is important to be honest about what you can commit to instead of trying to take on more parenting time than you can. This legal document will provide security, trust, and stability for your children, and it can be enforced by a judge if either parent refuses to abide by it.